From 1st September 2013, the Department of Education has issued guidance regarding attendance. The guidance makes it quite clear that a Head teacher cannot grant any leave of absence during term time, including family holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances. A penalty notice of £60.00 may be issued if a family choose to take holidays in term time.
If you child is ill, please continue to telephone the office to let us know. We will also contact you if you do not do this. I know, as parents, you all appreciate the importance of attendance and how low attendance impacts on a child’s progress and development.
We will be following procedures agreed by all Bridport Schools, which are closely aligned to our current practice, but now also includes a Local Attendance Panel and termly monitoring by the Local Authority.
- As you are all aware, we do regularly monitor attendance and we inform you at Parents’ Evening with a printout and on Reports.
- If we have initial concerns, this would be attendance at 95% or below, then we will make contact with you to discuss yours child’s attendance and any areas we can help you in. Then, there will be weekly checks over a half term period to see if this has helped improve attendance. This is part of our current practice.
- If attendance does not improve, then you will be invited to a Local Attendance Panel.
The Panel is an opportunity for the school, family, the Early Intervention Team and the County Solicitor to meet together and discuss low attendance and to hopefully find solutions.
I need to outline some of the sanctions which the Panel can recommend. These can include further half term period of close monitoring with specific targets for attendance, issuing a £60 penalty notice, a parenting order or seeking prosecution which could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and/or custody.
This process can be resumed at any time if attendance drops below the acceptable level.
Mrs Frances Guppy
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Illness and Absences
Parents are asked to follow the following procedure when a child is absent from school.
- Please telephone the school to inform us of your child’s illness.
- Give written or verbal notice of dental or medical appointments during school time to the school office. Parents are requested to collect children from the school office so that they can be signed out. We do not permit them to leave school during the school day unaccompanied.
- If you have not made contact with the school office regarding your child's absence, we will make contact with you either by telephone, email or home visit.